Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 38
Early the next morning, Yuan Ci Xian followed Lu Shi Qing to left Zhu Mansion and left Tangzhou. They then entered Huainan Provinces, passed through Shenzhou, Anzhou, and Huangzhou, and entered the border of Qizhou in the beginning of Ninth month.
The local officials in Huainan were ordered by the Third Prince, Ping Prince, to come to receive them. The connection from county to county was almost seamless, as if the first sentence from above was immediately echoed below.
Moreover, Yuan Ci Xian found that most of the officials she met in Shannan East Province, which was adjacent to the capital area, were overly enthusiastic, always nodding and bowing, and constantly flattering and fawning. No one even remembered that Lu Shi Qing going south this time was to supervise disaster relief. But the behavior of the officials in prefectures and counties in Huainan were completely opposite.
Along the way, even a small official treated Lu Shi Qing neither humble nor overbearingly, and every three sentences they never failed to mention the disaster situation, asking when the next batch of disaster relief supplies would arrive, and concerned about the court’s measures to prevent the spread of the plague after the disaster. Although the meals for the two of them were not bland, they were by no means exquisite. Each and every one said that it was “the same as the common people”, and hope they would be more tolerant.
Yuan Ci Xian was really surprised by the unity of the officials in Huainan. Lu Shi Qing’s attitude was always indifferent and distant, he only nodded and never said a pleasant word.
Once, Yuan Ci Xian asked him, these people seem to care about the country and the common people, so if you comfort them with a few more words and let it transmitted below, would it not help to stabilize the hearts of the people, but if you don’t give people a good face like this, afraid you will only be criticized. However, Lu Shi Qing only answered her with a few words: If it’s too extreme, it’s reckless.
Seeing that she didn’t seem to understand for a while, he asked: “If this disaster happened under your father’s rule, would all the officials in Diannan do this?”
Yuan Ci Xian thought for a while and said: “No.”
“There are frequent wars in Diannan. The officials, the people, and the lives of your family are all dependent on your father, but it still can’t be guarantee that when a natural disaster is imminent, everyone will be united. Huainan, which has always been stable, suddenly encountered a catastrophe, so why it managed to do so in just a few months?”
Asked by him like this, Yuan Ci Xian felt that her level was still a little low, and after thinking about it again, she realized that the officials along the way were not so much caring for the people, rather for some reason they put on an act for the court. It was just in the end when things reach an extreme, they could move in the opposite direction, too far is a bad as not enough, and their acting skills were too much.
Thinking like this, Yuan Ci Xian couldn’t help but felt a thump in her heart. Why did she thought that her acting skills were quite strong, Lu Shi Qing could see through those officials with such piercing eyes, didn’t he also have a clear insight into her tricks?
Yuan Ci Xian fell into introspection, and didn’t do anything to curry favor with Lu Shi Qing for a few days, and didn’t bother him in his carriage. Until one evening when they were about to leave Qizhou, there was a heavy rain, and flash flood broke out in the border area of Shuzhou. The road was blocked by mud and stones, and the convoy was forced to leave the official road and take a detour. However, due to the harsh terrain of the rural road, Lu Shi Qing’s carriage sank into a ditch. After Cao An and several officials who accompanied them worked together to dig it out, they accidently broke the joint, causing the wheels to fly off the cart, and the carriage also collapsed and fell apart.
Lu Shi Qing stood in the rain with an ugly expression on his face. Zhao Shu, who was holding the umbrella for him, was also startled. Yuan Ci Xian in the carriage behind saw this and couldn’t care less about “introspection”, and hurriedly told Shi Cui to go down to pick him up.
Shi Cui came over stepping on the mud with one foot deep and one foot shallow, and said in a raised voice: “Assistant Minister Lu, it’s cold and rainy, County Princess asks you to go to her carriage to take shelter from the rain first.”
Lu Shi Qing glanced at her and nodded slightly, explained a few words to everyone, and walked back. Behind him, Cao An quietly rubbed his red hands.
This carriage was built too well, the joints were stuffed too tightly, Heaven knows that Master’s light and calm “break it” almost made him break his finger too. He was in pain but also happy.
Seeing Master’s back running towards happiness, Cao An showed a gratified and proud smile.
Lu Shi Qing lifted the curtain and brought in a gust of cold wind, Yuan Ci Xian shivered, and handed him a clean handkerchief, her lips trembled from the cold, so she didn’t have time to ask him to wipe himself.
But he already understood what she meant, took the veil and put it aside, then started to undo his belt without saying a word, and took off his outer robe in two to three moves.
Yuan Ci Xian was stunned for a few seconds before remembered that she should avoid it, blinked quickly, and turned her head away.
She reckoned that Lu Qing had already been seen by her, and because the carriage fell apart, he was not happy, so he simply. But in the end she was not used to this, and felt little restless. She turned her head to avoid looking and listened to the sound of rain for a while, then asked: “Have you wiped it?”
However, Lu Shi Qing didn’t continue to take his clothes off at all, but only dried the slightly wet robe in the carriage. Hearing this, he asked, “It’s already fine since long ago, why?”
As soon as she turned around, she saw that he was indeed sitting upright, and although he didn’t wear his robe, not an inch of skin was exposed.
The weather in the late autumn was much colder than when the two of them left the capital at the beginning, and the clothes that were too thin could no longer be worn, so the inside of Lu Shi Qing’s outer robe was not only inner clothes, but there was also a close-fitting thin lining. This time he took it off, not only he did not look disheveled like he was in the Shangzhou post station last time, but also revealed his tightly pinched belt and a strong waist, and totally displayed his hard lines.
Yuan Ci Xian’s breath stagnated at this one glance, and then she gulped down her saliva. This “” appearance was even more imaginative than stripping it all off, and she had a picture of him naked in her head again.
But he was still decently dressed, and it would be too hypocritical to avoid him, so Yuan Ci Xian had to forced herself to look directly at him, and changed the subject as if nothing happened: “It’s nothing, just urging you. This place is not far from the place where the flash flood broke out, so it’s better to leave as soon as possible.”
She was bluffing, implying that she didn’t misunderstand that he was going to undress just now, and she didn’t look away because of nervousness, but to observed the surroundings through the carriage curtain.
Lu Shi Qing glanced at her reddish ears, and calmly said: “You don’t have to worry about it, just now I already ordered people to check the road ahead, and we will find a place to stay soon.” Moreover, he already looked in all directions before instructing Cao An to abandon the carriage, there would be no flash floods here, and in a moment, the rain should stop.
Yuan Ci Xian nodded, “Oh”, and suddenly realized something after a moment of silence, and asked, “Hey, what about Shi Cui, why didn’t she come in with you?”
Of course, Cao An dragged her to check the road.
Lu Shi Qing smiled in his heart, and said indifferently, “I don’t know.”
Yuan Ci Xian felt that this was good, this alone time could be considered the Heaven’s will, and it wasn’t deliberately created by her, so Lu Shi Qing would not think that she had some ulterior motives.
She was quiet for a while, and when her heartbeat gradually stabilized, she was ready to seize the opportunity to “get down to business”, and finished the “worm ways in” that could not be done in the past few days, and said with a smile: “Since there is nothing to do right now, let’s sneak in a game of chess.”
Lu Shi Qing said “as you wish”, and after she dragged out the chessboard and chess jars from under the table, then arranged them one by one, he reached out and took a jade piece, ready to make a move.
Yuan Ci Xian let out an “Hey” and stopped him: “Why you move first?”
He raised his eyebrows: “Why not?”
“You have eaten rice six years more than me, and if you don’t let me have a few pieces, how can you still get a head start?” Her tone was slightly coquettish, it made people’s bone soft when hearing it.
This seemed to be a seduction comparable to him taking off his robe.
He was silent for a while, and just about to speak when he suddenly heard someone knock on the wall of the carriage, followed by Cao An’s apologetic voice: “Master, the situation is not good, there are no people around for several miles, I’m afraid we will have to sleep outside tonight.”
Lu Shi Qing’s face turned gloomy: “Have you been with Zhao Shu for a too long, so you can’t handle things properly. It’s not enough to destroy a carriage, and now you can’t even find a place to stay?”
Yuan Ci Xian felt that it was rather pitiful for Cao An to be running around under the downpour, so she said something nice on his behalf to Lu Shi Qing: “It’s okay to sleep outside, there are bed and couch in this carriage, it’s very comfortable.”
Cao An took the initiative to plead guilty and said: “County Princess, this time it’s indeed this servant’s fault. Sleeping outside is nothing, but Master’s carriage is broken, and tonight we can’t find a place to stay, you two will have to settle in one place…”
As soon as he reminded her, Yuan Ci Xian suddenly realized. She opened her mouth but didn’t speak for a while.
Cao An’s tone was so sad that she couldn’t bear to be harsh.
She thought for a while and asked outside: “Is Assistant Minister Lu’s carriage really cannot be repair?
“With a few important joint missing, it’s really cannot be pieced back together.”
“Don’t we still have another carriage?” In that carriage “lived” Xiao Hei.
Cao An continued to say sadly: “That carriage is really small, just big enough for your pet dog to sleep in. It couldn’t be used by people in the first place, not to mention that it contained your belongings, and now because Master’s carriage is broken, several stacks of official documents measuring one foot thick needed to be places… These things are very important, and it is not appropriate to move them out, if it rains and gets wet…”
Lu Shi Qing frowned deeply: “Then continue looking until you find a place to live.”
Cao An awkwardly admonished: “Master, the sky is getting dark, and this rural road is not as solid as the official road. It’s too dangerous.”
Lu Shi Qing glanced at Yuan Ci Xian when he heard the words, as if asking her what she meant.
She twisted her face and said hesitantly: “Life is important, let’s not go… Find a safe place to settle down first, at worst I will give you the carriage, and just find a rock outside to sleep on. After all, you are the most important…”
Oh, this was retreat in order to advance, knowing that he couldn’t tell her to sleep on a stone.
Lu Shi Qing smiled and pointed to the chessboard in front of him and said, “For the sake of fairness, whoever wins will sleep in the carriage, and one game will decide the winner.”
Yuan Ci Xian thought for a while and agreed, secretly thinking that Lu Shi Qing probably wanted to give up the carriage for her, but he was too embarrassed to say that, so he found an excuse and used such a roundabout way.
Sure enough, he didn’t rush to play first, and gave her three moves, so that she was far ahead in the following situation.
Yuan Ci Xian secretly thought that Lu Shi Qing had a cold face but his heart was soft, in fact he was very good to her, and because she indeed owed him a real life-saving grace, it seemed inappropriate for her to always approach him with the mentality of using him. After such mental journey, she suddenly heard the person on the opposite side gnashing his teeth: “Yuan Ci Xian, can you concentrate?”
She returned to her senses and looked down at the chess game.
No, how could she lose…
No wonder Lu Shi Qing was angry, he let her like this but she couldn’t even win, wouldn’t it be a waste of his painstaking efforts.
She hastened to stay vigilant, but unexpectedly, she had no way to save the game, and she lost steadily all the way. It was only because of Lu Shi Qing’s frequent concessions that she reversed her inevitable loss and barely gave herself a tie.
She rubbed her nose embarrassingly, and asked: “It’s a draw…how should we decide?”
TN: When a strait-laced guy trying to woo a girl, it’s scary!